The May bank holiday wasn’t all about gardening and relaxing in the sun; for a few Mighty Greens it was the culmination of months of training and preparation.

Sidmouth Running Club’s Mark Andow, Grahame and Donna Womersley-Westlake took part in Ruby Red Running’s East Devon Round ultra marathon.

The event was a serious undertaking but race director Alistair lightened the start by cycling up dressed as Darth Vader, wishing the runners well and ‘May the fourth be with you!'.

The race started from Offwell Village Hall at 5.30am and the course featured abundant bluebells and a mixture of paths, lanes, roads and forgotten less obvious routes, covering 69 miles with 10,000 feet of elevation gain in three areas of outstanding natural beauty and one world heritage site.

The event aimed to cover costs rather than make a profit with the hope of raising money for local causes and safety was a priority, using OpenTracking, as all runners were expected to self-navigate although the course was marked along continuous stretches and intricate turns.

Unfortunately for Donna, the self-navigating proved more tricky than she had anticipated and ended up going off in the wrong direction several times adding miles and time; the hard decision was made at check point 3 to finish.

On the positive side it meant she was able to get to the finish to cheer Grahame and Mark over the line.

Sidmouth Herald:

Mark and Grahame enjoyed chatting to fellow competitors as they ran around Axminster, Lyme Regis, Colyton, Ottery and Honiton, and were pleased to see fellow Mighty Greens Sarah Watkins and Scott Chown, who were marshalling at Sidbury and Weston respectively.

They both finished in the early hours of Sunday, two of the 60 per cent of runners that were able to complete it in the time allowed.

Grahame suffering with blisters said it was a truly brutal but beautiful event.

Mark said it confirmed his view that East Devon is beautiful in the spring time and he was impressed about the time and thoughtfulness that the race organisers put into providing an exceptionally challenging local route.

Sidmouth Herald:

Not to miss out on the running action, Amelia, Grahame and Donna’s daughter took part in the fun obstacle course on Sunday morning too.

Whilst the ultra MG’s were recovering, SRC’s Nikita Kay and Megan Pewsey travelled up to London to compete in HYROX, a fitness competition series that combines both running and functional workout stations.

The ladies have been training hard with Josh Solman from JMS training alongside running the streets of Sidmouth in preparation for this high octane event held in London Olympia.

The Mighty Greens entered the doubles category where you split the stations in a ‘you go I go’ format, encouraging each other all the way.

A 1k run is followed by a functional workout station repeated eight times; stations included sled push and burpees and all under the watchful eyes of a referee ready to apply time penalties for not following the correct route round.

They were delighted to finish in 1:20:16 and enjoyed the experience so much are looking at next year already.

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This event has helped Nikita prepare for the Great West Run, half marathon, which she is running for Sidmouth Hospice At Home alongside fellow Mighty Greens Kerry Salter, Kathy Johnson, Kyle Baker, Clare Luke, Allan Kay and Alexa Baker.

They have raised £1,429.00 so far with two weeks to go.

If you would like to make a donation for this amazing local charity please go to